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200 people learn CPR at training sessions in city parks

Published on Monday, April 16, 2018

TWO hundred people have now been trained in vital life-saving skills thanks to a scheme at city council parks.


Free training in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use a defibrillator has been offered to council staff, ‘friends of’ parks groups and members of the public in a drive to make Leicester’s open spaces ‘heart friendly’.


The training, which has taken place at parks including Abbey and Evington, is run in conjunction with local heart charity the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust (JHMT).   

The city council has set aside £65,000 in an ongoing project to make automated external defibrillators (AEDs) available in city parks and open spaces. lt already has 28 defibrillators installed, including one solar-powered unit. There are plans to install a further three solar units this month (April).


Deputy city mayor Cllr Piara Singh Clair, who is responsible for culture, leisure and sports, said: “The ‘heart friendly’ parks scheme aims to strengthen the response to those who fall victim to a cardiac emergency in the community.


“Training and empowering more bystanders to perform CPR and increasing the use of defibrillators can more than double the chances of survival. I’m really pleased that we’re able to work closely with a local charity to provide this training, and it’s great news that 200 people have already been trained, with more to follow.”


Dr Mike Ferguson from the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust said: “Sadly, in the UK, there are 60,000 cardiac arrests every year in the community. Half of these are witnessed, often by family and friends, but the survival rate is only 10 per cent. 


“Not all victims are in a ‘shockable rhythm’, which is treatable by defibrillation, by the time an ambulance arrives. Survival is much more likely when a shockable rhythm is present.  


“The number of people in a shockable rhythm could be increased if more cardiac arrest victims received immediate and effective CPR from bystanders. That’s why we’re so keen to provide this vitally important training and want to make sure as many people as possible know what to do to increase someone’s chances of survival.


“It’s great that we have trained 200 people through heart-friendly sessions at Leicester parks and we will continue to work with the council to provide this vital training.


“With cardiac arrest, it is better for a bystander to do something than to do nothing.”


To find out more or book on to a course, contact 0116 273 3574 or email


To find out more about the JHMT, visit